Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Cape Town Convention Journal


Space Assets Protocol, Cape Town Convention, space law


The adoption of the Space Assets Protocol to the Cape Town Convention marked a new era in the evolution of the law of outer space by providing the first space treaty regarding private international law. This Protocol was not created in a legal vacuum, but was drafted against the background of the existing United Nations space treaties that were drafted in the 1960s and 1970s. Although the existing UN treaties address public international law and therefore cover subject matter that is quite distinct from the private law issues addressed by the Space Assets Protocol, there are still points at which the Protocol intersects with the existing treaties. This article explores these intersections, and even potential conflicts, between the Protocol and the existing treaties. Five hypothetical scenarios are presented to illustrate these intersections between the new and old laws and suggestions are made for how existing space law may either interfere with the operation of the Protocol or, in some cases, facilitate its operation.